Charles Tilley, the longtime leader of the London-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, is stepping down following the recent approval of an international accounting association jointly run with the American Institute of CPAs.

Tilley, who has been chief executive of CIMA for 15 years, will become executive chairman of a new CGMA Research Foundation, an affiliate of the Chartered Global Management Accountant joint venture that CIMA and the AICPA established in 2011.

The AICPA and CIMA decided last year to expand the CGMA joint venture to create a new association of international accountants. After a prolonged lobbying effort, the members of both organizations overwhelmingly approved the proposal last month, despite objections that CIMA was violating its royal charter (see AICPA/CIMA Proposal Approved in Landslide).

Tilley will be stepping down on July 31. Andrew Harding, who is currently managing director of CIMA, will become acting CEO of the group from August 1 until the new association is formed in January 2017. He will then become the first CEO of a new CGMA Unit of the association.

Tilley will continue to work part-time as executive chairman of the new CGMA Research Foundation. There he will focus on raising awareness and driving adoption of Global Management Accounting Principles and continue to play a representative role for the organization. 

“I have been tremendously honored to serve as CEO of CIMA,” Tilley said in a statement. “With member endorsement achieved, the next step is to establish the Association, successfully implementing the integration of strategy, management and operations, laying the strongest possible foundations for the CGMA designation. At this next stage of the development of CIMA I believe the time is now right to stand down. I am enormously grateful to members, staff and partners for all they have contributed whilst I have been CEO.”

AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon said he had urged Tilley to continue to work with the new international association established by their two organizations. “I am delighted that Charles has responded positively to my request that he stay on adding his insight, wisdom and guidance,” Melancon said in a statement. “As we make history forming the new Association I and colleagues are all too keenly aware that we simply could not have done it without Charles.”

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